Terrorism Update
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Popular Front for Armed Resistance

The Popular Front for Armed Resistance (PFAR), a terrorist outfit formed during the 1960's advocates the secession of all Baluch regions from Pakistan. Their areas of operation are in the Baluch regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although there are no accurate independent estimates of its membership strength, the outfit claimed that during the 1980's there were 3000 Baluch cadres based in Afghanistan, and an equal number in Sindh.

Earlier in the 1970's, the PFAR was reported to have begun recruiting cadres from the Mengal and Marri tribes to augment its base. Most of the outfit's activists have been trained in the Afghan region. This region is also the source for their weaponry and goods.

In 1974, the PFAR carried out a series of bomb attacks in the various cities of Pakistan including a bomb explosion in August during a political rally at Karachi due to be attended by the then Pakistani premier Zulfikar Bhutto. An intensive counter-terrorist operation was undertaken by Pakistani security forces against the PFAR in the same year. Iran offered external assistance to these counter-terrorism operations in the form of gun-ships and pilots to assist Pakistani forces.

Consequently, the outfit was considerably weakened and lost its ability to carry out guerilla attacks in Pakistan. Their current status is ambiguous. Western reports allege that with the ascendancy of Taliban in Afganistan, there is a renewed interest within the Baluchis to regroup and continue the PFAR agenda. It is also alleged that some members are involved in drug-trafficking with the active connivance of Taliban authorities.






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